Newcastle seeking repeat of last season’s stunning Chelsea win
Newcastle United have been somewhat of a bogey team for Premier League leaders Chelsea in recent seasons, on home turf at least, making them 11/2 with Coral to triumph again.
The Blues have come unstuck at St James’ Park on both of their past two visits, with the Magpies swooping to victory in three of their last five battles with the west Londoners.
In both of those memorable home victories, the Tyneside team netted 89th minute winners, meaning Chelsea should look out for a late surge, and are 16/1 to take a half time lead but fail to win.
Senegal striker Papiss Cisse was the goal hero for Alan Pardew’s side last time out against Burnley, grabbing an important equaliser, which makes the powerful frontman 8/1 to net last.
Exciting young Spaniard Ayoze Perez has also shown his potential of late, spurring on Newcastle’s fine run of just one loss in their last nine games. The 21-year-old former Tenerife forward has been on target three times this term, and is an excellent 11/4 in the anytime market.
Visitors Chelsea, meanwhile, should have sufficient motivation to claim their 16th win of the season across all competitions, and clinch a club record 24 games unbeaten.
Despite being six points clear at the top of the table, there is still the sense that Manchester City, now on a rampant run themselves, are breathing down the Blues boys’ necks, waiting for a slip up.
The Stamford Bridge side are odds-on favourites at 8/15 to best the Magpies, however, and extend their unbelievable streak.
Jose Mourinho’s men coped without suspended top scorer Diego Costa just fine last time out, as they downed capital competitors Tottenham 3-0, but the formidable forward is 3/1 to return with a bang and strike first.
Chelsea will be without magnificent Nemanja Matic, however, and the Serbia midfield shield is expected to be a much more significant loss. Whilst the Blues once saw fit to part with their current anchorman in a deal for David Luiz, the 26-year-old is now invaluable.
Providing both steel and silk, Matic’s absence allows Pardew an opportunity to win the midfield battle, with outcast John Obi Mikel set to start in the suspended Serbia international’s place, and Moussa Sissoko and Jack Colback to return for the hosts.
The bullish Blues possess incredible strength in depth, however, particularly in attack. Former Magpies loan star Loic Remy returns to St James’ Park having found the net last time out, and is 4/1 to fire home last against his old club.
Meanwhile, inspirational Eden Hazard was on target a fantastic three times when Chelsea last duelled with Newcastle, and will be expecting to terrorise their makeshift defence in the expected absence of Fabricio Coloccini.
The wing wizard is available at 9/1 to bag a brace or better, or 33/1 to hit a hat-trick once again and propel Chelsea to new heights.